Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
229. Robert Bloomfield to Thomas Hill, 24 March 1808*
To Mr Hill
Thursday March 24 1808
I received your invitation to dinner and anticipated much pleasure in the meeting. Then how was it that I was not amongst you? Simply as follows, and simple it was indeed on my part. I read your letter as specifying Thursday as the day. And I wishd particularly to thank Mr Southey for the pleasure I received from his excellent memoir of K. White, and I wanted as particularly to meet Mr Park who has a fragment of mine for inspection, and I wanted to see you all. I have been the whole week in expectation of this promised treat, and had set apart this day for its accomplishment, and about an hour ago I again consulted your note with a view of learning the hour of meeting, when, to my confusion, I perceived that you had written Tuesday; though utterly unsuspected on my part, for the note had rested quietly on the shelf unexamin'd. & now if it was in good manners allowable, I could sincerely exclaim, 'Plague take your little u-'s and e-'s. and U-'s for misleading me'. I feel both sorry, and ashamed. And though I have blunderd somthing in this way before; I never had so much cause to regret it. You might well wonder that I neither wrote to apologise, nor made my appearance. It reminds me of the Countryman, who, having just attended his Father's Funeral, was ask'd 'whether he did not cry? He answerd 'No, I dont think I cried, but I was D—mnd.'
I write now to Mr Park
And am rather sulkily your Obd Ser
P.S. had you luckily happen'd to put in your invitation the day of the month as well as the day of the week, perhaps it might have turn'd out otherwise.
Address: Tho Hill Esq. / corner of Queen Hythe / Upper Thames St